In Quebec, elected officials will have to “swear an oath” to Nathalie Roy

Nathalie Roy will become President of the National Assembly this afternoon.

The former Minister of Culture, MP for Montarville since 2012, is recognized for her sanguine temperament.

In opposition, his questions carried a high index of partisanship. In the government benches, her responses were often tinged with uncontained anger towards opposition members, towards whom she invariably pointed an accusing finger.

In short, since her arrival in the political fray, she seemed to love the battle. But as president, she will have to rise above the fray. Quite a challenge.

As the parliamentary leader of QS Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois cleverly illustrated on Tuesday morning, “it is she who will have to distribute the yellow cards”, among others “to her former team”.

Its function will be to protect the voice of opposition against the huge caucus from which it originated. It must become the guardian of their “parliamentary privileges”; which also enjoys – it should be remembered – the many ‘simple Members’.

  • Listen to the Foisy-Robitaille meeting with Antoine Robitaille and Philippe-Vincent Foisy, hosts at Qub radio at the microphone of Benoit Dutrizac on :

Difficult climate

Nathalie Roy takes the head of the multi-secular institution of the National Assembly at a time when several strong tensions are upsetting her.

The question of the oath to the king, revived by the Parti Québécois, which calls into question the monarchical nature of the institution, will force it today to make difficult decisions.

To mark its difference with its “former team”, it could disavow the jurisprudence on this question, invoked and developed recently by its predecessor François Paradis. Leaders of constitutional law demanded it in an open letter on Tuesday.

Besides, we are living, as Manon Massé so aptly put it this morning, “the return of distortions”. And this is a source of tension, of disputes.

The 2e and the 3e oppositions, Québec solidaire and the Parti Québécois, are at loggerheads following negotiations for the sharing of opposition budgets and speaking time.

The legitimacy of the official opposition is undermined by the fact that its constituent party, the PLQ, obtained fewer votes than the other two opposition groups.

The Conservative Party, which won no seats despite the support of some 13% of the vote, is knocking on the door of the parliament building and marauding the deputies in the hope of poaching a deputy who would become a sort of magic pass giving access to parliamentary proceedings.


Nathalie Roy will have to navigate these troubled waters, face an ultra-powerful Prime Minister, François Legault, whose patience, in the electoral campaign, seemed several times to be very limited. In the past, presidents have had to leave their throne because they were in trouble with the head of government. Michel Bissonnet, for example.

In addition, facing Prime Minister Legault, Marc Tanguay, Leader of the Opposition, does not give his place in terms of partisanship. And the man loves the toga effects and acid-soaked tirades.

The leader of the government, Simon Jolin-Barrette has been in office for 4 years and knows how to be formidable, especially in his famous « questions of regulations ». The hyperactive politician also tabled in 2019 an ambitious and necessary parliamentary reform project in several of its aspects. But it will die on the soap opera if Nathalie Roy does not devote enormous energy to it. But what a negotiation challenge!

Other characters, experienced in parliamentary contests, should also take up a lot of space. We think of the PQ leader Paul Saint-Pierre Plamondon, in need of visibility. And to his sidekick Pascal Bérubé, who will act as leader of the mini caucus.

The risks that Nathalie Roy finds herself challenged, even disavowed by “her” parliament are significant. Some of his predecessors—we think of Yvon Vallières—have had to leave their posts altogether for this reason.

In order to avoid this fate, the new president will have to succeed in generating support; to be « unifying », as the cliché of our times says. In short, the elected officials of all parties will have to end up « swearing an oath » to Roy.

Do you have any information to share with us about this story?

Got a scoop that might be of interest to our readers?

Write to us at or call us directly at 1 800-63SCOOP.


Back to top button